Ella was always concerned that she wasn’t like all her friends and classmates. She didn’t like camp. She didn’t know what she was good at. Yet who knew all it would take was a buffet Chinese dinner to make her realize her true talent? Turned out that she was dynamic. She was artistic. She was creative. She was also a great reader and writer. And now to add to all these wonderful qualities, Ella can boast that she is an international best selling novelist! How’s that for an accomplishment? Oh and by the way, Ella is only 9 years old!!
Recently Ella, along with her collaborator, her mother, Merav Richter (an author in her own right), published their first novel together, The Search for Maya. The book has been so well received and celebrated with proceeds of its sales going to support the charity, Autism Speaks Canada. The book tells the story of Maya and her imaginary friend Charlie. While only Maya can see or hear Charlie, everyone else believes that he is her imaginary friend. Maya is sure Charlie is real, and sets off to find him. On her search for Charlie, Maya finds even more.
The book was truly a labour of love; a summer project in lieu of summer camp. After their original ‘tea’ting (a term they derived from their tea/meeting), Ella and Merav would brainstorm ideas and then storyboard these ideas as they set out to create the book; a story based in the genre of magical realism. They wanted to tell a story that shared another perspective or reality. As Merav says, “We wanted to give readers a glimpse into what other people are experiencing and we don’t see, and what it means to be a highly sensitive person. Ella has the perfect perspective to give better insights into the life and mind of a child on the spectrum. What we want is to create a movement of heart-centeredness for highly sensitive people.”
So while Ella may not be like her other classmates, what makes her unique is what truly makes her shine. And how appropriate that she is now our new shining star? The mother-daughter duo plan to continue their new found summer tradition by writing a series of books. We look forward to reading more of your amazing stories and work in the future, Ella!